Nov 06, 2023
The Best Outdoor Furniture Of 2023, Tested By Southern Living
From dining sets to Adirondack chairs—these outdoor furniture pieces provide the right combination of comfort, style, and durability. Jump to a Section We independently evaluate all recommended
From dining sets to Adirondack chairs—these outdoor furniture pieces provide the right combination of comfort, style, and durability.
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Southern Living / David Hattan
After you get through with mowing your lawn or tending to your garden, there’s no better way to relax than by sitting outside on your outdoor loveseat and enjoying a cool breeze. When choosing outdoor furniture, Jerica Banks, owner of Interiors by J. Michelle, LLC and owner of Black Arteriors in Nashville, says that you need to consider how you want your outdoor space to function. To start, she recommends thinking about if the area will be used for entertaining, lounging, dining, or grilling. “From there I would notate how much exposure to the outdoor elements the area will have. Is the area covered, or uncovered? screened in or fully exposed? These are all factors that play a huge role in the type of selections that need to be made for any outdoor living area,” says Banks.
To compile this list, we tested 94 outdoor furniture pieces both in our Lab and at home, evaluating them based on material, durability, comfort, style, maintenance, and more. For expert insight, we consulted both Banks and Kathy Kuo, CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.
This comfortable and stylish sofa set didn’t withstand any damage when exposed to a variety of weather conditions.
While this set is somewhat impervious to water, it’s not to other stains.
Even though it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to unbox and set up, this furniture set proved itself to be well worth the effort. What makes this set stand out from the rest is the acacia wood construction. Acacia wood is known for its durability and stability. This type of wood is impenetrable—it won’t scratch easily, and it’s resistant to fungus growth. With little upkeep and maintenance, acacia wood can give you decades of use. In our testing, it withstood damage from excessive heat, heavy rain, and moderate winds.
The included cushions attach to the furniture via velcro straps, keeping everything secure even with heavy wind. Instead of absorbing the sun’s heat, the white cushions reflect it and in turn, keep the furniture cool for a long time. And, since the furniture stays cool, your skin is less likely to stick to it. Do note that while the white fabric pops in the bright sunlight, it does show stains more easily. However, the cushion covers are removable and machine-washable. The set comes with two chairs, one bench, and a coffee table, making it well-suited to conversation and even a meal.
Price at time of publishing: $515
Type: Sofa conversation set | Number of Pieces: 4 | Materials: Acacia wood, polyester | Warranty: Not listed
Southern Living / John Somerall
This affordable rattan patio set is resistant to UV damage, extreme weather conditions, stains, and corrosion.
Water can collect under the glass tabletop after it rains.
The Devoko wicker set is very versatile—use it on a balcony, by the pool, in the garden, on your patio, or in any indoor or outdoor space that’s large enough to hold the furniture. Even after keeping this set in the hot sun for a long time, we experienced no issues. We even kept it out during a storm, and it held up nicely.
After bouts of rain, some water may pool under the glass table, but this problem can easily be solved by removing the glass tabletop and wiping underneath it. The included cushions come with removable covers, so cleanup is a breeze. Plus, the subtle curve of the chairs makes them comfortable to sit in. Just keep in mind, since this furniture set only seats two people, it’s not the best purchase for someone who likes to host larger gatherings.
Price at time of publish: $110
Type: Small conversation set | Number of Pieces: 3 | Materials: PE rattan, steel frame, polyester fabric| Warranty: 1 year
Southern Living / Dena Ogden
This sturdy, well-made set requires no assembly.
For the price, we wish it included a table.
This sleek and modern set from Article proved itself to be very secure and comfortable. We tested it against storms, excessive heat, and even wildfire smoke, and it held up to all of the above. But, even though this furniture can withstand different weather conditions, you still need to take precautions. If you know a storm is going to take place in your area, it’s recommended that you store this furniture indoors, such as in a shed or a garage.
The Article Loveseat Set requires no assembly. It comes with one loveseat and two lounge chairs, although given the price, we’d like to see a table included. Both the loveseat and the chairs come with seat cushions that can be fastened to the furniture with ties. The woven rope backing adds interest and allows for more airflow. The cushions are hand-wash and air-dry only, but we found wine spills to come up with ease. The fabric even held up to cat claws, too.
Price at time of publish: $2,088
Type: Loveseat set | Number of Pieces: 3 | Materials: Powder-coated aluminum, polyester | Warranty: 1 year
Southern Living / Donna Freydkin
This heavy-duty dining set stays put during heavy winds.
Assembly is a bit more involved.
We had a great time relaxing on this Better Homes & Gardens patio dining set. Everyone who used the chairs had plenty of legroom, and even with the dark metal frame, the furniture remained comfortable in the hot sun. The coil-spring seat mounts allow you to lean back in the chairs, and the sturdy table can accommodate plenty of dinnerware. Plus, the sturdy wrought iron is not going to blow over on your patio, even in extremely windy conditions.
All of the pieces, including the cushions, are included, so the set comes with everything you need for al fresco dining. The table also features a hole in the center for a patio umbrella, too. The cushions are not machine washable, so you will have to use soap and water to hand wash them and then let them air dry. Better Homes & Gardens is owned by Southern Living’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith
Price at time of publish: $454
Type: Dining set | Number of Pieces: 5 | Materials: Steel, Jacquard woven fabric | Warranty: 5-year limited warranty
Southern Living / Pat McGowan
The table is extendable, so you can accommodate more people as needed.
The chairs do not fit all the way under the table.
This stunning, six-piece dining comes with an extendable table that allows you to seat more people when needed. The acacia wood fared extremely well against severe weather, and even with aggressive winds, the furniture stayed in place.
For the most part, the chairs were very comfortable and easy to get in and out of, but do note that while they come with seat cushions, they don’t come with back cushions. The chairs also don’t fit all the way under the dining table—a bit of a design flaw (but not a deal breaker for us). Regarding maintenance, the manufacturer recommends applying teak oil every two to three months. This dining set comes with four chairs, one bench, and one extendable dining table.
Price at time of publish: $1,085
Type: Dining set | Number of Pieces: 6 | Materials: Acacia wood | Warranty: Not listed
Southern Living / Chad Sparks
This three-piece set is easy to assemble, easy to move, and resistant to rust.
The table is too small to comfortably accommodate full meals.
If you’re looking for an outdoor bistro set that will maintain its appearance through excessive heat and repeated rain showers, then this Pioneer Woman set is the one for you. The instructions were easy to understand and overall, the set was easy to assemble. This is a much smaller set than many others on our list, so it’s better suited for small outdoor spaces, such as a small porch or apartment balcony. And since the table is also on the smaller side, it’s better to use it for a cold glass of iced tea or a cup of coffee with a friend. The table isn’t able to support many plates, cups, and other dinnerware, so it’s best to save those full meals for a larger dining set.
The chairs don’t come with cushions or armrests, although we did feel supported by them. The cast aluminum is fairly lightweight, so it’s easy to move the set around as needed. And while we love the classic lattice design of the furniture, we wish it came in more colors than just teal.
Price at time of publish: $198
Type: Bistro set | Number of Pieces: 3 | Materials: Cast aluminum | Warranty: Not listed
Southern Living / Bridget DeWald
The chairs and table fold flat, so you can easily take them on the go.
The lock mechanism can be unreliable.
While zero-gravity chairs don’t defy gravity, they do keep your body suspended in a neutral position, providing you with a weightless sensation. Thus, they’re perfect for relaxing for long hours spent outdoors. We found these Amazon Basics chairs to be so comfortable that we relaxed in them for four hours straight. The set comes with two chairs, each with a removable headrest and a pull-out side table, as well as a small table with built-in cup holders.
Unlike cushioned outdoor furniture, these chairs are made of Textilene fabric. So, if you were to spill a drink on them, all you need to do is take a damp cloth to wipe off any stains. However, we did notice that the Textilene fabric will absorb some of the sun’s heat. And while it comes with a lockable reclining function, we found the lock mechanism to be somewhat unreliable.
While most of the sets listed in this roundup are designed for patios, decks, and other outdoor areas, the zero-gravity chairs and the table also fold flat for use at sports games or camping trips.
Price at time of publish: $149
Type: Zero-gravity lounge set | Number of Pieces: 3 | Materials: Alloy steel, Textilene | Warranty: 1-year limited
Southern Living / Megan Wood
The mahogany construction is durable and the geometric pattern adds an elevated look.
Stains proved difficult to remove from the cushion.
This striking outdoor bench was able to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including heavy rain and wind. Made from mahogany wood, which is known for its durability and weather-resistance, this bench remained stable and never wobbled when we sat on it. It also comes with non-marring glides to help prevent scratches on your patio and keep the furniture in place. The bench was comfortable to sit on for long periods of time, and even without the cushion, you can still relax on it for hours.
We used liquid soap and warm water to clean the cushion, but unfortunately, we could still see some of the stains. Furthermore, if you live in a wooded area where debris tends to frequently fall from trees, we recommend keeping this bench in a covered area. But if you’re looking to elevate your curb appeal, it’s hard to go wrong with this elegant outdoor bench.
Price at time of publish: $299
Type: Bench | Number of Pieces: 1 | Materials: Mahogany and eucalyptus | Warranty: Not listed
Southern Living / Ashley Craiger
The durable Polywood lumber and UV protectant ensure this chair will give you decades of use through all sorts of weather.
It doesn’t fold.
Made from durable Polywood lumber (aka high-density polyethylene, or HDPE), this chair is designed to stand up to various weather conditions. HDPE is a common plastic that’s used in everyday items such as milk jugs, detergent bottles, and cutting boards. It’s resistant to corrosion and is impervious to other elements such as water, solvents, acids, detergents, and cleaning fluids. In our testing, this chair was even able to withstand bugs, wind, rain, and bird droppings. But, if you do start to notice some stains, simply take a damp cloth and wipe it off.
The chair has a sleek, modern design and wide armrests where you can place a drink or a cell phone. Thanks to the UV protectant, the chair’s color didn’t fade over time and still looks just as vibrant as the day we got it. Unlike wooden chairs, Polywood lumber won’t easily crack or warp. In fact, it comes with a 20-year residential warranty, which is a pretty good indication of its quality. If we were to change anything about this chair, we would make it foldable in order to better move it around the yard.
Price at time of publish: $249
Type: Chair | Number of Pieces: 1 | Materials: Polywood lumber (high-density polyethylene) | Warranty: 20 years
The vented shade allows for increased airflow and stability.
The umbrella base is not included, so you’ll need to purchase it separately.
Use this umbrella to protect yourself from both the scorching heat and the pouring rain. The durable Sunbrella fabric doesn’t let anything seep through, and it’s easy to clean with warm water and soap (even bird poop came right off). And unlike many other patio umbrellas, it comes with a three-tier design, which allows hot air and wind to flow through the vents for increased airflow and stability. The crank system was easy to operate, and it comes with a push-button tilt that allows you to angle the umbrella in different positions.
The umbrella comes in over a dozen color options to fit any existing decor. Just note that the base is not included, so it must be purchased separately.
Price at time of publish: $270
Type: Umbrella | Number of Pieces: 1 | Materials: Aluminum, Sunbrella | Warranty: 90 days
It’s easy to clean and versatile enough to use indoors and outdoors.
You will need to purchase a rug pad separately to prevent sliding.
This rug came with no loose threads or snags, and after using it for a few months, its color did not fade. It’s versatile enough to use indoors and outdoors and comes in over 10 different color options. We found that stains, including pet accidents, were easy to clean with water and mild detergent. You can also use a hose, vacuum, or broom to remove lighter debris. We also found that pet claws didn’t pull on the threading.
Do note that this rug doesn’t come with a rug pad, so it did move around fairly easily. To avoid shifting and sliding, we’d highly recommend purchasing a separate rug pad.
Price at time of publish: From $47
Type: Rug | Number of Pieces: 1 | Materials: Polypropylene | Warranty: Not listed
Our best overall pick is the Christopher Knight Home Acacia Sofa Set. This furniture set is easy to assemble and the cushions are so comfortable that you and your guests will want to relax on it all day long. This set is also made of acacia wood, meaning that it won’t be easily damaged and it is impervious to different weather conditions. For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Devoko Patio Furniture Set. The Devoko set can withstand all types of damage from UV rays, weather conditions, and various stains. Plus, the included cushions have removable covers for easy cleanup.
We rigorously tested outdoor furniture across various categories in both our Lab and at home, including 15 outdoor furniture sets, 20 Adirondack chairs, 28 patio umbrellas, and 31 indoor/outdoor rugs. To begin, we first timed how long it took to assemble the furniture (when applicable). We brought home the furniture and used it for two weeks straight, evaluating how comfortable each piece was to sit on for an extended period of time. We also noted how well it held up to different weather conditions, strong winds, rain, thunderstorms, excessive heat, and other conditions. Finally, we cleaned the patio furniture as needed and took note of how easily any stains or debris came off. We will continue to check back on the top-performing products and see how well they have held up with continued use.
Southern Living / Bridget DeWald
The key to making your outdoor furniture last a long time is to take proper care of it. While you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care, there are some general guidelines for how to care for different types of furniture. If you purchase metal furniture such as the Better Homes and Gardens Wrought Iron Patio Dining Set, it’s going to require regular cleanings. Before you clean the furniture, remove the cushions, add a soapy solution, use a hose to wash the furniture, and let it dry. Metal furniture needs more frequent cleanings because it’s more prone to rust and corrosion. To protect your wooden furniture from rot, clean it with a small brush and a soap solution. You also need to apply some kind of wood oil to your wooden furniture every so often to replenish its natural oils.
To clean outdoor furniture cushions, including those made from polyester, Textilene, and jacquard woven fabric, always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions. But, as a general rule, you can hand wash cushions with mild soap and water, and let them air dry. If you just need to do some spot treatment, simply take some mild soap, apply it to the spot, and scrub it with a sponge. Some cushions even feature removable covers that can be tossed in the washing machine for easy cleanup.
While wood requires more upkeep, it’s one of the more sturdy and durable pieces of outdoor furniture. Wooden furniture made with acacia wood has water-resistant properties and doesn't scratch as easily, while furniture made with mahogany wood, such as the Grandin Road Amalfi Bench, is rot-resistant, water-resistant, and retains paint and polish well. If you decide to go with a metal outdoor set, then note that it’s durable and requires lower maintenance than wood. While you will have to regularly clean it, you won’t have to worry about applying oil like you do with wood furniture. But, a drawback to metal furniture is that it is prone to rust and corrosion. Specifically, while aluminum furniture is impenetrable to rust, it still is susceptible to corrosion. On the other hand, steel outdoor furniture is very strong and flexible, and stainless steel furniture is resistant to rust.
Additionally, metal furniture is prone to absorbing heat. Your steel, aluminum, and wrought iron furniture is more likely to feel hot to the touch if it's been sitting in direct sunlight for hours. Vice versa, if you leave this same kind of furniture out in the cold for hours, it will feel cool to the touch.
Rattan outdoor furniture is durable and eco-friendly, but you have to know the difference between natural rattan and synthetic rattan. Natural rattan is not created to be used outdoors, unlike synthetic rattan, which is designed to hold up to outdoor elements. If you do decide to purchase natural rattan furniture, be sure to use a furniture cover to protect it from extreme weather.
As a general rule, Jerica Banks, owner of Interiors by J. Michelle, LLC and owner of Black Arteriors, says that it’s important to buy furniture pieces with limited lifetime warranties and guarantees on the longevity of the product. You should also always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions whenever you have a question about the warranty of the furniture.
Before purchasing any piece of outdoor furniture, it’s important to know the layout of your outdoor area. Be sure to measure your space so that you will have an accurate picture of how much furniture it can accommodate. It may even be helpful for you to have a family member or friend help with the measuring of your outdoor area.While it’s important to measure the layout of your outdoor space, you also need to think about how you plan to store your furniture in extreme weather conditions. Most individuals will use a furniture cover or will store the furniture in a shed, but it’s helpful to also buy furniture that you can store anywhere in your home. For example, the Safavieh Solid Indoor/Outdoor Patio Area Rug is easy to roll up and place in a closet for storage.
And you want to consider the amount of people you need to accommodate. If you like to host larger outdoor events, then be sure your outdoor furniture set has enough seating. The Walker Edison Delray Classic Outdoor Dining Set extends to seat more people as needed.
Most people will agree that it’s fun to purchase outdoor furniture based on your interests. Kathy Kuo, founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home, says, “Shopping for outdoor furniture is very similar to shopping for indoor furniture—consider the layout of your space, always measure several times, and look for pieces you love and feel are reflective of your personality.” Color can also either make your furniture more or less comfortable. Lighter furniture such as the won’t absorb as much of the sun’s heat while darker furniture will.
Southern Living / Pat McGowan
Better Homes & Gardens Tarren 5-Piece Outdoor Dining Set: We love the look and the durability of this all-weather wicker set. However, the black color does get very hot under direct sunlight, so we wouldn’t want to use it without an umbrella. Also, since the chair backs sit so low, they can be uncomfortable to sit in for a long period of time.
Pottery Barn Persephone Teak Adirondack Outdoor Lounge Chair: If you prefer the look of real-wood furniture, this Adirondack chair is a great alternative to plastic. However, we found that the chair needs to be lifted by the bottom, not by the arms. Otherwise, you may risk breaking them.
According to DeVries Patio Furniture, aluminum, and wicker furniture can last over 15 years, while wrought iron and teakwood furniture can last over 25 years. However, Banks says “If you want to purchase furniture that will last you want to check with the manufacturer's warranty guarantees and be mindful of the materials used and choose fabrics that are treated for sun exposure like a Sunbrella that is water, UV, stain, mold resistant.”
Additionally, Kuo says, “You can ensure that your outdoor furniture stands the test of time by understanding the climate and weather patterns in your area and using outdoor furniture covers when needed, or even putting your outdoor furniture in storage for a season if you live in an area prone to snow and ice in the winter."
As you consider your furniture options, it’s important to note that most pieces of outdoor furniture and furniture sets are going to be an investment. In this roundup, items range from $50-$2,000. If you’re unsure about spending that much on outdoor furniture, Kuo mentions that it’s better to purchase higher-quality furniture made from durable materials, because it’s this kind of furniture that will save you money later on. After all, they are designed to last for years.
Southern Living / Dena Ogden
This article was written by Moriah Mason, a commerce writer for Southern Living with over a year of experience writing lifestyle content and testing products. For this roundup, we tested 94 outdoor furniture pieces both in our Lab and at home, evaluating them on setup, comfort, durability, quality, and value. For expert insight, Moriah spoke with Jerica Banks, owner of Interiors by J. Michelle, LLC and owner of Black Arteriors in Nashville, and Kathy Kuo, founder and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.Price at time of publishing: $515Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $110Type: Number of Pieces:Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $2,088Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $454Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $1,085Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $198Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $149Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $299Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $249Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: $270Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: Price at time of publish: From $47Type: Number of Pieces: Materials: Warranty: